George Gessert is an artist whose work focuses on the overlap between art and genetics. His exhibits often involve plants he has hybridized or documentation of . George Gessert has a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA in fine art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. From to the present. George Gessert THEIR SILENCE IS A GIFT Interview by Arjen Mulder The question of beauty is a natural one for breeders of ornamental plants and flowers for.

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After I had transported pots of irises to the gallery, a heat wave struck, and temperatures climbed into the nineties. Many forms of life are more graceful than we are, more kinesthetically intelligent, far more patient, immeasurably less destructive. For this he deserves high praise. Since the late s I have been breeding plants, concentrating on the native irises of California and Oregon. Seed library by George Gessert Book 1 edition published in in English and held by 9 WorldCat member libraries worldwide “Consists georye packages of seeds gathered mixed, and packaged by George Gessert.

In Green Light, you praise John Ruskin for being right that “plants are not merely raw materials or luxuries but beings at the very center of human life. From ink spots to plant breeding was only a small step. We loved it and since then have always found places in our garden for lurid flowers. Art and biology bibliography by George Gessert 1 edition published in in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Occasionally people get hostile, even though I have never used plants as symbols of human beings. However, most flowering plants require animals — sentient creatures — to reproduce. He selects his plants based on their aesthetic qualities and contends that Darwin also recognized aesthetics as an evolutionary factor.


George Gessert

What makes plants “beings at the very center of human life? Will it speed the commodification of life? Economics dominates the horticultural industry and strongly influences aesthetics, but the underlying problem is consumer culture. Project Page Feedback Known Problems. Watching them grow, and helping them along, I no longer felt like a lone artist, but connected to creative energies that already reside in materials and in the world.

In his artist’s book, George Gessert takes inspiration from his experiments hybridizing irises.

How do you know how to get the effects you hope to create? If a plant breeder wants to distribute his hybrids, he has little choice but to pay attention to what sells. They die on a regular basis, so to speak, dropping their leaves each autumn, letting their bodies above ground die, and so on. My installations sometimes invite audiences to participate in making aesthetic decisions that affect the lives and deaths of plants, and these decisions remind some people of eugenics.

An important part of their beauty is that even though they are vividly alive, they are not human. Certain visual formulas work. The rainforest of domestication: Ruskin tried to recapture something of that ancient intuition, and failed. There is no contradiction in breeding for wildness.

I paired irises that had characteristics I liked, hoping that whatever was good in the parents would come together in the offspring.

George Gessert – Wikipedia

We’re connected, even though we may not feel that we are. As for death, most plants are as mortal as georgf are. One thing I like about plants is that they don’t talk. Plant breeding is a lot of work, so I geofge to ask myself: In a way the job of the artist is to leave himself out.

But we can never really see the world from their point of view, never fully know them. But what is so ridiculous about it? But when you grow and hybridize plants for your bio art projects, you don’t seem to be aiming for the sort of shocking, overwhelming, awe-inspiring effects I associate with the sublime in the arts.


And with just a little generosity of spirit, we can recognize them as our kin. When I breed plants, I look at flowers, of course — at their aesthetic qualities — but also at whole plants.

George Gessert breeds Irises as an artform. Plants deserve our gratitude and deepest respect. Animals — vertebrates and many invertebrates as well — resemble us in having eyes, mouths, limbs and so forth.

Plants like irises and begonias are proof that that immensity is at least in part benign. Even as late as the s, shows that included works with live plants were extremely rare.

Bioart through evolution: George Gessert

Ornamentals offer us pleasure and connection with nonhuman life, something we desperately need. Today bio art is still widely considered somewhat adventurous, yet Jeff Koons, whose work encapsulates georve values of consumer culture, uses live plants in installations.

This is rather surprising, considering that until relatively recently nonhuman organisms were not exhibited in galleries. He has received various awards, including the Leonardo Award for Excellence.

Often I don’t know. You may use these HTML tags and attributes: In these memories, flowers are magical things that draw me to them. They brew remarkable chemicals. The gforge of the artist is not so much to create, gesesrt to help what is latent in things manifest itself.